Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What is OT Leaders that Shine?

A New Spin on Volunteerism
Volunteerism has probably been a common occurrence for you at different times in your life; whether it was traveling across the world to volunteer for the Peace Corps, a local walk against breast cancer, planting trees in a park, or setting up a bake sale at your church; helping others is just part of who you are.

Why Not Use These Opportunities to Promote Our Profession?
OT Leaders that Shine integrates the things we as occupational therapy practitioners are already doing to help our communities, combined with our commitment to the profession of occupational therapy.

OT Leaders that Shine is an OTAC sponsored public awareness initiative supporting OTAC’s Vision Statement and AOTA’s Centennial Vision. This initiative uses our diverse OT leadership to meet society’s occupational needs through volunteer experiences that are globally connected and widely recognized.

How it Works:
You (any OT practitioner or student who is an OTAC member) identify and select a volunteer project that is meaningful to you and contributes to the OTAC Vision Statement. The project can be something you are currently involved with, something you have done in the past, or something you are interested in developing new involvement with. You will then have the opportunity to share this information in the form of a blog.

To promote public awareness and advocacy for occupational therapy, the project will occur in a public arena where there are opportunities for recognition both for the profession, and for the cause of your project. As you and your group carry out your volunteer project, you will promote occupational therapy through the use of marketing materials such as tee shirts, buttons, banners, balloons, brochures, and of course, conversation! Occupational therapy practitioners or students must lead the volunteer project, but consumers, family, friends, and community members are encouraged to participate.

What to Do:

This blog allows project leaders to post projects and to recruit participants. Interested students and practitioners can search for a project to support. If you want to lead a project, but don’t know where to begin, there are many volunteer opportunities available through established domestic and international volunteer organizations. To get you started, a list of volunteer resources is posted on this blog site.

Once you have decided on a project, complete the OT Leaders that Shine application to register your project with OTAC. This application will be in the blog section. You will then be able to blog with others to share your experiences, ask questions and get new project ideas. After you complete your volunteer project, you will write up brief entry for the OT Leaders that Shine blog to let others know about its success.

Be sure to select a project that is personally meaningful to you. This will ignite a passion that will make it easiest to recruit and retain volunteers, increase public awareness of OT, and will make the project fun for all involved.

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